India to hold Japanese gang rape ID parade Friday

India to hold Japanese gang rape ID parade Friday
The rape suspects were brought to a court in Kolkata on January 3.

KOLKATA - Six men arrested for the gang rape of a Japanese tourist held hostage in India for nearly a month will appear in an identity parade later this week, a court said Tuesday.

The six men detained for allegedly extorting more than US$1,000 (S$1,337) from the 22-year-old tourist and then keeping her as a sex slave for several weeks appeared before magistrates in Kolkata, said police and prosecutors.

Five of the men were arrested at the weekend on charges including rape and kidnap while a sixth person was detained early Tuesday.

The court "ordered an identification parade of all six accused who have been arrested until now" to be held Friday, public prosecutor Dipnarayan Pakrasi told AFP after the hearing in the capital of West Bengal state.

The suspects will all remain in custody until the parade. Police have previously said the victim will fly home to Japan after taking part in the line up.

The victim's ordeal began in Kolkata shortly after she arrived on Nov 20.

Police say a group of men, one of whom spoke Japanese, persuaded her to withdraw around US$1,200 in cash before travelling with her to the Buddhist shrine of Bodh Gaya in neighbouring Bihar state.

There she was handed over to two brothers who allegedly locked her in a secluded basement and repeatedly raped her before she finally managed to escape towards the end of December.

The case is the latest in a string of high-profile sex attacks that have highlighted the frightening levels of violence against women in the world's second most populous country.

India has faced intense scrutiny over its efforts to curb violence against women following the fatal gang rape of a medical student in New Delhi in Dec 2012, which sparked a global outcry.

Sex attacks against women from Western countries have received major media coverage in India but similar attacks on Asia women have drawn only a fraction of the attention.

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